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Destroyer CMC sacked after grabbing sailor by uniform

Aug. 26, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Command Master Chief (SW) Rick A. Helwick was relieved Monday as CMC of the destroyer Shoup.
Command Master Chief (SW) Rick A. Helwick was relieved Monday as CMC of the destroyer Shoup. (Navy)
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The command master chief of the Everett, Wash.-based destroyer Shoup was fired Monday after being found guilty at captain’s mast of assaulting a junior sailor.

Command Master Chief (SW) Rick A. Helwick was relieved of his duties Monday following a substantiated allegation that he grabbed a junior sailor by the uniform blouse because he was not wearing the proper uniform, according to a Navy statement.

A Navy official confirmed Helwick was found to have committed assault, which falls under Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Naval Surface Forces Pacific spokeswoman Cmdr. Tamsen Reese confirmed that Helwick has been flown off of the ship, which is deployed to 5th Fleet, and will be temporarily reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 9 in Everett.

Helwick’s replacement has been chosen and is expected to arrive aboard Shoup in November, a Navy release said. It did not name the replacement; officials could not immediately provide a name.

He reported to Shoup as command master chief in June 2011, according to Navy personnel records.

Helwick, 43, enlisted in April 1988 and previously served aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln; destroyers Stethem, McCampbell, Higgins and Benfold; cruisers Chancellorsville and Shiloh; and dock landing ship Comstock. He also served in shore assignments at Naval Weapons Station Concord, Calif., and in Sydney as a training instructor at the Australian navy base HMAS Watson, according to his online bio.

He has received the Meritorious Service Medal twice, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal twice, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal four times, in addition to various unit and campaign awards, his online bio says.

Attempts to reach Helwick through DESRON 9 were unsuccessful.

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